Ask Dr Libby

Waitaki Herald - - YOUR HEALTH -

Email your ques­tions for Dr Libby to ask.dr­libby@fair­fax­me­ Please note, only a se­lec­tion of ques­tions can be an­swered.

vi­ta­min B12 stores will gen­er­ally last a cou­ple of years, how­ever a de­fi­ciency can cause ir­re­versible dam­age so it’s vi­tal that you don’t let your­self get de­pleted.

Plant-based sources of iron in­clude green leafy veg­eta­bles, chick­peas, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds and dates. How­ever, al­though iron is present in these foods, it is not at high lev­els nor is it in a form that the body eas­ily ab­sorbs.

For some veg­e­tar­i­ans and ve­g­ans, the body utilises the iron from veg­etable sources ef­fi­ciently, whereas for oth­ers, less so. Ab­sorp­tion of plant-based iron is en­hanced in the pres­ence of vi­ta­min C, so in­clud­ing some vi­ta­min C-rich foods (such as broc­coli, cap­sicum and lemon) with your meals can help. It’s also im­por­tant to avoid drink­ing tea, cof­fee and wine with meals, as tan­nins in these can bind the iron, which in­hibits ab­sorp­tion.

It’s im­por­tant to have your iron lev­els checked be­fore sup­ple­ment­ing, as an ex­cess of iron in the body is also prob­lem­atic, and some of the symp­toms of iron over­load are ac­tu­ally sim­i­lar to those of de­fi­ciency.


Food sources of zinc for you in­clude sun­flower seeds and pump­kin seeds. These con­tain around 2mg of zinc per 30g serve. Nuts and legumes also con­tain small amounts of zinc. Women re­quire 8mg of zinc per day and men re­quire 14mg per day to pre­vent de­fi­ciency.


Plant-based sources of calcium in­clude green leafy veg­eta­bles (such as broc­coli and kale), figs, sesame seeds, tahini and al­monds. If you are choos­ing to con­sume a non-dairy milk (such as al­mond or rice milk), there are cal­ci­um­for­ti­fied op­tions avail­able which can help to en­sure you are meet­ing your calcium re­quire­ments. You can check the

There are calcium-for­ti­fied al­mond milk op­tions for those who go ve­gan.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.